What's your attitude about body care? As you'll see, it's about a lot more than just using lotion and calling it a day- there's a side to body care that's really about self-care and making time for you. Read my story:
I distinctly remember one visit to the doctor’s office as a child, sitting on a crinkled, waxed sheet, cold hands twisting my arm to better see just how ashy my elbows were. My mother was concerned about the bumps on the back of my arms. (I’d later discover – much, much later – that the offending bumps were some mild form of keratosis pilaris.)
“Do you moisturize?”
I stared at my pediatrician blankly. I was maybe seven at the time; what did I know about moisturizing? I had greater things to worry about – writing book reports, making sure I didn’t catch cooties from boys at recess, devising excuses to skip piano lessons. Moisturizing was neither a priority nor was it a word covered in grade school vocabulary.
“Do you use lotion?”
I’m seven, my sassy second-grade self was tempted to say. Only I wasn’t brought up to be sarcastic toward my elders (plus, my mother was in the room), so I just shrugged my shoulders and looked at my mom.
That was my first run-in with the importance of body care; my pediatrician scolded me, rambling about the importance of using lotions and things, only I was (once again) seven and couldn’t care less.
Clearly the lesson was not learned, because nearly a decade later (oy) I was tying my shoelaces on the sidelines, prepping for the football game’s halftime show when I realized with horror how scaly my legs looked in my dance team uniform. (Skirts and shell tops don’t do much for hiding ashy elbows and knees, for the record.) I vowed that once off the field and back home, I’d do as the beauty experts advised: exfoliate, dry brush, and scrub myself to baby-soft – albeit a little pink – perfection. Then slather with lotion as if there were no tomorrow.
I was a little (okay, a lot) gung-ho then, and while I’ve learned to ease on the dry brushing bit, I haven’t gone a day without a proper scrub-down followed by generous moisturizing since. Scaly skin and ashy elbows and knees belong to bygone days of naiveté.
In the process, I learned to truly love my skin, to love taking care of it, and I learned to love my body. It’s taking care of me, and thus demonstrating that deserve to be treated with utmost respect. Exfoliating with lush scrubs and Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid-packed cleansers (which helped the bumps on my arms!) didn’t make my skin beautiful – it helped me see that it was beautiful as it was. Indulging in all sorts of body lotions did wonders as well, but it was feeling pampered and glow-y that made me feel confident about baring all no matter where I was or what I wore.
. . .